Covid 19 is a pandemic that has hit the whole world and came unexpectedly. The first patient was tested positive in the city of Wuhan, China. Since then, the disease has increasingly spread worldwide, interrupting day to day activities. Virtually most countries have been under lockdown to prevent further spread of the virus and self-quarantine. Hence, one of the most affected sectors is the travel industry. The industry is incurring losses day in day out as there are no movements in most countries. Let’s take a look at how the worlds travel has been affected by Covid 19.
The Cruise Industry
According to reports, cruises have been reported to be carrying infected passengers. At the beginning of March, the center of disease control and the state department addressed the Americans to quit taking cruises as they are the cause of the spread of the virus. They went ahead and published a detailed explanation as to why. With such warnings from a trusted department, people quit taking cruises, and since then, the industry has incurred huge losses.
The shares of the big companies have dropped rapidly by approximately 60 to 70 percent. Companies, in general, have lost $750 million in revenue. There are expected future losses as the pandemic continues, and sailings will be postponed.
Cruise companies may not receive any aid given to other industries. For instance, in America, they do not fall under America Enterprises. So while other sectors are receiving assistance due to the pandemic, they may be left out.
As Covid 19 started spreading worldwide, countries started closing their borders as a protective measure to contain the virus. Hence the airline was greatly affected by this move. According to IATA, the global air transport industry revenue is expected to fall by $252 billion that is a 44% fall compared to 2019 estimates.
Airlines for America, UPS, among others, say that their member companies are expected to lose $87 billion in revenue In the year 2020, and they are already borrowing.
Luckily for the airlines, they will access the aid given by the Federal Reserve, loans, and direct grants. Although according to the company, it is not entirely beneficial, the money is conditional, and hence the government will have to take a stake in the company. But they will have no choice.
Hotels and Restaurants
If you think about traveling, then the next thing that hits your mind is a hotel. Most hotels and travel companies work hand in hand. Hence the hotel industry has also been greatly affected by the Covid 19 pandemic. Although not all hotels have been affected the same way, in one way or the other, each one of them has a story to tell.
The lodging sector has suffered a lot. Since the pandemic began, most people take protective measures and traveled back to their countries and homes. Since most people are selfly quarantining at their homes, the lodging sector has incurred significant losses. For a company such as Marriot, it has lost 75% in revenue.
For other small and medium hotels for eateries, they are also facing huge losses. The reason is that; one of the protective measures to contain the virus is observing social distance and banning social gatherings. Hence for eateries, they are forced to either completely shut down or offer to take away services or deliveries to people’s doorsteps.
On the other hand, people are selfly quarantining, and the order for such services is minimal, leading to enormous losses for hotels.
Most governments are supporting hotels, as well as restaurants, by receiving aids to support their staff.
In a few countries, there is a total lockdown measure undertaken by their government. Hence there is no movement at all. The lockdown has led to the complete shutdown of companies operating road transport services. Therefore these companies are facing huge losses and low or no incomes.
Where these companies are still operating, they are being forced to carry fewer passengers than they usually carry to maintain social distance leading to reduced profits.
Most governments are not compensating most of these companies, and hence they are carrying the whole burden all on their own.
The travel sector, in general, has been dramatically affected by the pandemic. This suffering of the industry has forced many companies to lay off their employees for the time being. This has led to many people losing their jobs. Most employees being the middle class who depend on those jobs for a living. For example, air hostesses, drivers, waiter, and waitresses, etc.
Through May, the U.S. Travel association projected a loss of 4.6 million jobs, and every week the number was increasing. Additionally, tourism has seized; hence the tourism sector also forced to lay off employees until further notice.
Due to the pandemic and lack of income, most families that were dependent on those people are now helpless in most countries, leading to poverty increment. The level of employment is reducing, and the people’s living standards are worsening.
In the wake, Covid 19 has dramatically negatively impacted the travel industry. Most companies were not prepared for such a hit, and they are battling to keep their operations going. Most travel companies have been forced to diversify their services. For instance, most businesses that ship their products from other countries still need their products shipped. Hence most travel companies are now focusing on shipping goods to try and recover their losses.
On the other hand, the pandemic has taught most travel industries as well as hotels and restaurants a lesson. They are now planning about the future, and in any case, such a situation occurs again, they will be ready, financially.
Other hotels have now opened and are operational and are strictly adhering to protective measures such as social distancing. They have a good management plan.
In the United Arab Emirates, for instance, the citizens will be allowed to travel to countries where there is a low risk of the virus. But, travelers must first test negative of the virus and also self-quarantine for 14 days after their return to the United Arab Emirates.
There is Hope
Despite all these suffering to tourists, travelers as well as the traveling sector, there is hope in the future. As long as people and companies will be able to take protective measures to curb the virus, then the governments will allow movements and ordinary operations of these businesses to resume.